The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has approached the Delhi High Court (HC) to share the complaints of the consumers who have said that due to excessive advertisements, their TV viewing experience deteriorates. According to a BarandBench report, the Delhi HC has sought responses from the central government and the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on the same.
NBA Says TRAI Has No Power to Regulate Length of Ads
There’s a rule that limits the length of the advertisement on TV channels. As per rule 7(11) of Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 (CTN/Cable TV Rules), none of the programmes can carry advertisements that exceed 12 minutes per hour. These 12 minutes include 2 minutes per hour for a channel’s self-promotional programmes and the other 10 minutes for commercial advertisements.
But the NBA has argued that this rule is beyond the scope of TRAI’s power and affects Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution on the freedom of speech and expression. Not just NBA, but several channels have challenged that TRAI has no power to regulate the length of the advertisements.
TRAI has simply argued that there is a statutory mandate which limits the length of the advertisements that can be shown in an hour. TRAI has said that it only wants what is best for the consumers at the end of the day. This intervention from the regulator is to ensure that the TV viewing experience of the consumers doesn’t deteriorate.
The Delhi HC has bundled the NBA’s petition with the ones which are already pending and have asked it and the centre to respond to the regulator’s intervention application. The case has been moved to be heard on December 23 for now.
The move from TRAI genuinely looks like it is in the best interest of the consumers and there is also a mandate present so TRAI has a solid ground here.